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American history (1918 to 1941): Using these 4 passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the success of the new deal - Coursework Example

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American history (1918 to 1941): Using these 4 passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the success of the new deal

The interpretations of Donald McCoy and Hugh Brogan come closest to understanding the larger picture in which the New Deal must be judged. The tradition of progressive reform the New Deal set in motion was so fundamental and far-reaching that it changed the way American Democracy functions and laid the groundwork for the development of a more responsive, and responsible, government. Brogan makes an incisive comment in explaining that simply setting in motion such a far-reaching and progressive initiative is a massive undertaking when one considers political and special interest opposition and public criticism. “Later critics have blamed the New Deal for not going further, faster: it is always so easy to demand the impossible, and so tempting to play down the importance of starting something. FDR and his team had started a lot…” (Brogan, Name 2 607). Brogan’s viewpoint is that critics take too narrow a view of the New Deal, which has accomplished far more over time than could ever have realistically been done in the few short years between 1932 and 1941. The New Deal helped reshape the relationship between the executive and judicial branches, with its repercussions for the management of future crises (i.e. Watergate), and set new expectations for the role of Congress. “(Roosevelt) also accustomed Congress, and the country, to the necessary activism of modern government, so that the stream of statutes, which seemed so astonishing in the Hundred Days, has become the norm of congressional life…” (Brogan, 607). One need only think of President Johnson’s “Great Society” legislation, the legislative activism of the Civil Rights era and, recently, the Obama administration’s overhaul of the nation’s health care insurance franchise to appreciate the magnitude of the evolution set in motion by the New Deal. McCoy is technically correct in saying that “relief, recovery and reform” were the intended outcomes of the New Deal (McCoy, 118). And he is correct in asserting that not everyone benefited from its programs. But McCoy does not make the same error that so many critics have made, relegating their examination to the Depression era and judging the Roosevelt administration’s success according to quite narrow parameters. McCoy addresses what may be one of the most important and enduring accomplishments of the New Deal: greater sharing of responsibility for the maintenance of social programs with state governments. “The Federal government and the states assumed some ongoing responsibility for the needs of the aged, dependent mothers and children, the handicapped and the unemployed” (McCoy, 118). The strengthening of this uniquely American governmental “architecture,” in which power and Name 3 responsibility is shared, has been a remarkable source of strength and flexibility in the post-New Deal America, and a topic of fierce debate over the relationship between federalism and states’ rights. History has accorded Roosevelt credit for the achievements of the New Deal and for establishing the modern-day tradition of progressive government. But as is so often the case, history is a marriage of disparate factors coming together, often unexpectedly, to produce some notable outcome. Much of the “revolution” that FDR championed had its basis in the Hoover administration. Many of the policies of the Roosevelt administration were, in truth, continuations of programs set in motion ...Show more
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Summary

Name 1 Name Class Instructor Date Gradual Change: Reassessing the Historic Impact of the New Deal Historians and economists can be as susceptible to ideology as politicians. It can be difficult to appraise a socio-political phenomenon as massive, and as polarizing, as the New Deal without seeing it through the prism of pure politics…
American history (1918 to 1941): Using these 4 passages and your own knowledge, assess the view that the success of the new deal
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